DIC Entertainment Looks to “Cell” Its Properties
DIC Entertainment partnered with SmartVideo Technologies, Inc., to create “DIC Kid’s Network,” the world’s first animation channel for cell phones. DIC will make its library of more than 100 programs such as Inspector Gadget, Madeline, and Strawberry Shortcake available for viewing globally on cell phones and wireless devices for the first time using SmartVideo’s proprietary technology that recreates the true TV experience, even over low bandwidth connections.
In other news, DIC secured pre-sales with broadcasters worldwide for 27 half-hour episodes of Trollz due on air in fall 2005. To date, the company has signed on TF1 (France), CBBC (UK), Mediaset (Italy), RTVE (Spain), Club RTL (Belgium), Alter TV (Greece), Televisa (Mexico), Saran (Turkey), TV New Zealand, and Hasbro (free TV across Latin America). Additionally, home entertainment rights were granted to TF1 video and to BBC Worldwide.
Take-Two Interactive Software Scores New Deal
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., signed long-term, third-party exclusive licensing relationships with Major League Baseball Properties, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and Major League Baseball Advanced Media, giving Take-Two sweeping video game rights. Under these exclusives, Take-Two will develop, publish, and distribute a broad portfolio of interactive, officially licensed video games starting in spring 2006. In related news, Derek Jeter, New York Yankees All-Star shortstop and 2004 Gold Glove recipient, agreed to be spokesperson and cover athlete for the licensed 2K Sports baseball simulation series.
Raw-7 Brings Edge to Warner Bros. Properties
Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Raw-7 partnered on a new collection of hip men’s and women’s cashmere sweaters (suggested retails, $290 to $425) and fashion tops (suggested retails, $88 to $290) featuring graphics inspired by the Looney Tunes and DC Comics icons such as Superman, Batman, and Supergirl. The line is scheduled to arrive at retailers such as H. Lorenzo and Kitson in Los Angeles, Blue Bee in Santa Barbara, Atrium in New York, Opposite in Miami, Yellow Dog in Brentwood, Joan Shepp in Boston, and Savvy at Nordstrom’s.
Archie Comics Goes Mobile
Archie Comics Entertainment, LLC, awarded the worldwide wireless/mobile telephone platform rights for content based on Archie Comics characters to Nazara Technologies Private Ltd. Content included in the deal encompasses mobile phone games, wallpapers, screensavers, comic panels or strips, and MMS greeting cards.
Aurora World Inc. Is in the Pink
Aurora World Inc. partnered with MGM to produce, manufacture, and distribute an exclusive line of six plush Pink Panther products. The line includes two poseable plush; two variations of Aurora’s Stuffs (otherwise known as pillows); and one exclusive Pet Carrier, which includes the carrier and an 8-inch Pink Panther. The Pink Panther movie is set for release September 23, 2005.
Family Guy in the Limelight…Again
Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising signed on two licensees as it expands the licensing and merchandising program for Family Guy. The new agreement with Take-Two’s 2K Games will create an action/adventure video game due on shelves in 2006. Fox’s deal with Airborne Entertainment will allow fans to download an ever-expanding array of wallpapers, wireless games, applications, and animated ringers directly to their mobile phones. Family Guy wireless content will be available this spring in anticipation of the show’s relaunch on primetime Fox May 1. Additional Family Guy products from Airborne Entertainment will be released throughout the year and will reflect the themes and events of specific episodes.
National Geographic Closes New Deals
National Geographic entered into a licensing agreement with Night Owl Optics Night Vision for a line of Generation 1 and 2 NGS night-vision monoculars and binoculars. The collection is inspired by more than a century of expedition and exploration and consists of nine optical products.
Dittydoodle Works to Hit the Airwaves
Rogar Studios has begun production on an enhanced version of Dittydoodle Works. The educational series is expected to roll out on public television stations nationwide in 2005. The program first gained recognition in 2000 when it aired as a series of interstitials for WLIW New York Public Television.
TLC Appoints New Execs
The Licensing Company appointed Risa Turken managing director of TLC North America Inc. Other company additions include Matt Logan as North America regional director for Michelin and Jennifer Bomhoff as licensing director for Allied Domecq.
Rosales Named President of Discovery Commerce
Discovery Communications, Inc., appointed Frank Rosales president of its retail and licensing division, which now will be known as Discovery Commerce. As president, Rosales will provide strategic direction and vision for all of Discovery’s retail, e-commerce, t-commerce, and licensing businesses. He also will spearhead the search for new ways to leverage Discovery brands in the consumer marketplace through third-party retailers, expanded global licensing endeavors, and emerging digital platforms.
Benson Joins Scholastic Entertainment
Scholastic Entertainment hired Katherine Benson as director of national TV sponsorship sales, a newly created position. In this role, Benson will build sponsorship revenue by selling the Maya & Miguel animated TV series airing on PBS Kids Go!
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